Scales of War
Quick, wary archers who freely roam the forests and wilds
Elves are slender, athletic folk about as tall as humans. They have the same range of complexions as humans, tending more toward tan or brown hues. A typical elf ’s hair color is dark brown, autumn orange, mossy green, or deep gold. Elves’ ears are long and pointed, and their eyes are vibrant blue, violet, or green. Elves have little body hair, but they favor a wild and loose look to their hair.
Elves mature at about the same rate as humans, but show few effects of age past adulthood. The first sign of an elf ’s advancing age is typically a change in hair color—sometimes graying but usually darkening or taking on more autumnal hues. Most elves live to be well over 200 years old and remain vigorous almost to the end.
Elves are a people of deeply felt but short-lived passions. They are easily moved to delighted laughter, blinding wrath, or mournful tears. They are inclined to impulsive behavior, and members of other races sometimes see elves as flighty or impetuous, but elves do not shirk responsibility or forget commitments. Thanks in part to their long life span, elves sometimes have difficulty taking certain matters as seriously as other races do, but when genuine threats arise, elves are fierce and reliable allies.
Elves revere the natural world. Their connection to their surroundings enables them to perceive much. They never cut living trees, and when they create permanent communities, they do so by carefully growing or weaving arbors, tree houses, and catwalks from living branches. They prefer the primal power of the natural world to the arcane magic their eladrin cousins employ. Elves love to explore new forests and new lands, and it’s not unusual for individuals or small bands to wander hundreds of miles from their homelands.
Elves are loyal and merry friends. They love simple pleasures—dancing, singing, footraces, and contests of balance and skill—and rarely see a reason to tie themselves down to dull or disagreeable tasks. Despite how unpleasant war can be, a threat to their homes, families, or friends can make elves grimly serious and prompt them to take up arms.
At the dawn of creation, elves and eladrin were a single race dwelling both in the Feywild and in the world, and passing freely between the two. When the drow rebelled against their kin, under the leadership of the god Lolth, the resulting battles tore the fey kingdoms asunder. Ties between the peoples of the Feywild and the world grew tenuous, and eventually the elves and eladrin grew into two distinct races. Elves are descended from those who lived primarily in the world, and they no longer dream of the Feywild. They love the forests and wilds of the world that they have made their home.